Research Manager in Digital Manufacturing
Catholic University of Leuven Department of Mechanical Engineering

The Manufacturing Processes and Systems research group counts about 70 researchers and is executing fundamental, applied and contract research in the broad field of manufacturing engineering, including additive manufacturing, conventional and non-conventional machining, micro-manufacturing, hybrid machining, flexible sheet metal working, production metrology, sustainable manufacturing, etc. The group is collaborating with many national and international organizations: universities worldwide, academic networks (e.g. CIRP, EUSPEN,...), research organizations (Flanders Make, Sirris, VITO, Fraunhofer, BLZ, PTB, NPL,...), industry (bilateral framework agreements with Belgian, German, and Swiss world class companies; European projects; etc.), and, last but not least, its own spin-off companies (Materialise, 3D Systems LayerWise, Nikon Metrology, etc.). The Manufacturing Processes and Systems research group is embedded in the department of Mechanical Engineering, within the Science, Engineering and Technology Group of KU Leuven.


  • As a member of our team of three research and valorisation managers, you play a key role in supporting the research group in expanding its externally funded research portfolio. You are responsible for expanding the group's project portfolio in the field of digital manufacturing for application domains related to subtractive manufacturing, micromanufacturing, flexible sheet metal working and metrology. This field relates to, e.g., data mining of manufacturing process monitoring data; digital twins of manufacturing processes and systems; data intelligence throughout the design-manufacturing-quality control chain; digital process planning, etc.
  • You strengthen and expand the group’s network of partners in industry and academia and collaborate with these partners to identify new challenges and application opportunities.
  • You identify funding opportunities and set up new research projects. You take responsibility for formulating and submitting top quality project applications. You focus primarily on European and regional projects in collaboration with industry.
  • You provide an interface to funding agencies and organizations (EU, national, regional, sectorial) as well as to internal services (KU Leuven Research and Development – LRD, Research Coordination Office – DOC).
  • You participate actively in major national and international strategic meetings, networking events, and consortium meetings.
  • You monitor the progress of projects and budgets.
  • You identify and manage valorization activities (such as patent filing, licensing, spin-off, etc.)


  • You are a born networker with an eye for research and business development;
  • You have demonstrable experience in collaborating with industry;
  • You have an excellent track record in the acquisition and management of research projects;
  • You have obtained a PhD degree or can rely on equivalent research experience;
  • You have demonstrable affinity with the domain of manufacturing engineering with particular interest in digital manufacturing;
  • You function well both individually and as a team player, and have proven people management skills;
  • You have excellent oral and written communication and presentation skills in English; mastering Dutch is an important plus;
  • You are pro-active, well organized, and responsible.


As research manager you will be part of a dynamic team of manufacturing engineering researchers with global recognition. Hence, you will have the opportunity to collaborate with national and international key players in innovative manufacturing process and technology development. We offer an open, informal and professional work environment, with plenty of room for initiatives and own responsibility. You will benefit from a competitive remuneration and flexible working conditions, in a fulltime contract of unlimited duration as a Research Manager.


For more information please contact Prof. dr. Sylvie Castagne, tel.: +32 16 37 74 23, mail: or Prof. dr. ir. Joost Duflou, tel.: +32 16 32 28 45, mail:

You can apply for this job no later than April 10, 2023 via the
KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at
  • Employment percentage: Voltijds
  • Location: Leuven
  • Apply before: April 10, 2023
  • Tags: Ingenieurswetenschappen
  • Download: file

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